Bear Lake Overlook to Limber Pine Snowshoe/Ski, 18 January, 2020
Twelve Cache Hikers participated in a winter trip from the Bear Lake Overlook to the Old Limber Pine. Eleven carpooled up from Logan to the Overlook, where we met April, from Garden City. Dave W., the leader, used cross-country skis while the others were on snowshoes. There was a foot of new snow on top of a 3-4 foot base, but we were fortunate to have enough people to take turns "breaking" the trail. It was cloudy at first, but the skies soon became clear. The temperature was about 25ºF with calm winds.
The Old Limber Pine has been a favorite destination in past years, but this time we went by a different route to avoid recent parking issues (see our March 2017 report, for an example). Beginning at the Bear Lake Overlook, we headed west to the Sunrise Campground, then southwest up an open slope to a low point on a ridge. It was our plan to follow an old fence line in a fairly straight line from there, but we got off-track. Fortunately we realized it before descending into a steep and narrow ravine and took corrective action to get us back more-or-less on course. Our planned route looked a bit questionable as we entered a thick stand of trees, but in 1/4 mile we emerged into an open meadow only a short distance from the Old Limber Pine.
From the meadow it was easy traveling up to the Old Limber Pine on a snowshoe track that had already been broken by others (and yes, the old tree got an affectionate hug from one of our snowshoers). We enjoyed lunch at the nearby fenced area, then went southeast to a ridge overlooking Middle Sink, but it was windy and cold there so we didn't stay long. We returned to the campground by a more direct route, without deviating toward the ravine. We enjoyed great views of Bear Lake on our return trip, over nearly untracked snow with sunny skies overhead. However, the slope west of the campground had been thoroughly cut up by snow machines since we were there in the morning.
On this trip we saw (and heard) chickadees and had a great view of a bald eagle flying west over the Middle Sink ridge. On the drive back to Logan we saw two moose resting near Beaver Creek (exactly where we saw them earlier in the day) and a kingfisher near the Logan River. We also saw an elk(?) in lower Logan Canyon in the morning.
Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative, photos, and GPS data, and Jane and Tawnya for photos